A man who had his hands in the air while standing on a beach boardwalk was tasered by Ocean City police in Maryland after he was spotted vaping, which is banned by a city ordinance.
Another video shows Ocean City cops piling on top of another man who had also been vaping with one cop repeatedly kneeing him while yelling “stop resisting,” even though the man does not appear to be resisting and is even telling the cops he is not resisting.
Ocean City police claim the man in the first video which took place on June 6 had been threatening to kill them while spitting on after they told him to stop vaping. However, the video in circulation begins moments before he is tasered and does not capture the moments leading up to the tasering.
Ocean City cops claim the men in the second video which took place on June 12 had also been vaping but the men became aggressive towards the cops which is why they were beaten.
It does not appear as if any of the cops were wearing body cameras which would confirm the police narrative so all we have is their word.
The Ocean City Police Department provided the following description of the first incident on its Facebook page.
The information associated with the video describing a juvenile being tased for vaping is inaccurate. The video is from June 6 during an arrest of an 18-year-old male. Officers stopped the adult male because he was violating the city smoking ordinance. When stopped, he became disorderly and began yelling at officers and threatening to kill them. At that time, officers drew their Conducted Electrical Weapons (CEW). He continued to make threats on officers, spit on them and resist arrest. Officers also located a switchblade knife in his bookbag. He was arrested for multiple charges, including assault, disorderly conduct and resisting arrest. He was held on bond, in the amount of $3,000.
Here is how the Ocean City Police Department described the second incident:
Officers were on foot patrol in the area of 12th Street and the Boardwalk, when they observed a large group vaping on the Boardwalk. Officers approached the group and informed them of the local ordinance prohibiting smoking and vaping outside of the designated areas on the Boardwalk. Four individuals were placed under arrest during this incident. We are aware of the social media videos circulating regarding this incident. Our officers are permitted to use force, per their training, to overcome exhibited resistance. All uses of force go through a detailed review process. Check out the press release below for the full details regarding this incident.
There is a good chance some of these cops were hired as seasonal police officers to work the summer months of the beach resort town which draws hundreds of thousands of tourists each year. The cops hired for these positions make less than full-time cops and are usually either still attending the police academy or have just graduated. It’s viewed as an internship for cops and a stepping stone for a full-time job.
Earlier this year, Maryland passed a law that will require all cops in the state to wear body cameras by 2025, according to the Baltimore Sun. Watch the videos below.